Luke 4:13 When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.
Morning. Heavy dew covered the ground. Silver droplets outlined the detail of what looked to be a perfectly spun spider’s web. Mary Rose thought it was beautiful. Like little jewels. The spider must have been hiding for it was nowhere to be seen. The web was so mesmerizing. It made her just want to reach out and touch it. Daddy grabbed her hand just in time. The spider was covered by a branch on a different part of the web right near Mary Rose’s hand. “You have to be careful around a spider’s web.” Daddy said. “You never know when the spider might decide to come out and bite.” Mary Rose didn’t like the sound of that so she stepped away from the web and left it alone.
They were visiting family and Mary Rose was up early to help feed the animals in the barn. Later on after breakfast she went outside
again. The dew had all dried up. As she rounded the corner something stuck to her arm. It was part of a spider’s web. She tried to get it off but it stuck to her hand. She wiped it onto the side of her pants and it finally came off. She looked for the web she had seen earlier but this time it was very hard to see. The only clue that it was even there was that something had gotten stuck in the web and was trying to get free. A moth. It had flown right into the web and the spider was making its way towards it. The spider had been very patient and waited until the moth got stuck in his web and couldn’t get lose. Mary Rose felt sorry for the moth but at this point there was nothing she could do. That evening they went home so they could be ready for Bible class and worship the following day. When she got to Bible class all the other students were looking at and discussing two items on the table. One was a square wire box that had a strange door on one side. It was a trap for smaller animals. The other was a spider web made out of string with a wire outer edge. Their teacher said they would learn more about it toward the end of the lesson and took them off the table but kept them in plain sight. They had been learning about Jesus the Son of God. Each week they were getting to know Jesus better by answering a question about Him. Today’s question asked, “Was Jesus ever tempted?” They would find out in the Bible lesson. It was Mary Rose’s turn. She made her way over to the large Bible on the stand and opened it to the book of Matthew. She found a card inside that listed Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; and Luke 4:1-13. She read it aloud. That is where the Bible lesson was found. It was the time just before Jesus would begin teaching others, (His ministry).
They learned of how Jesus was in the wilderness where the wild animals lived. They also learned of someone else who was there with Him. It was the devil!
He is the enemy of us all! (Sometimes he is called Satan, Matthew 4:10 and also the tempter, Matthew 4:3. He is VERY evil and VERY bad but VERY clever. The devil tells lies and sometimes those lies sound right and true but they are not! John 8:44 says the devil is the father of lies. 1 Peter 5:8 compares him to a lion who walks around seeking someone to devour or gobble up! He lays a trap or snare for us. The teacher pointed to the trap and the web. The devil tries to make the bad things that he wants us to do sound SO good that we would want to obey him INSTEAD of God. That is called being tempted. He wants us to get stuck in his trap so we cannot get out or break free.)
During His time in the wilderness Jesus had not eaten for 40 days and 40 nights and the devil had been tempting Him all that time. When the temptations came to an end Jesus was VERY hungry. The devil knew He was very hungry and coming back at Jesus said. “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” If He would have, that would have been obeying the devil! Jesus answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” Matthew 4:3-4. Instead of giving in to the devil Jesus answered the devil back with scripture. The Word of God! Jesus chose NOT to obey the devil. But devil knew just where Jesus was weak and made it VERY hard for Jesus not to give in to him. The devil watched Jesus and waited for him. The Bible tells how he came back at Jesus and tempted Him in 2 more different ways. Ways that would have felt real good for Jesus to do at the time but would have been VERY wrong. Even something like turning stones into bread to eat when Jesus was hungry would have been obeying the devil. So each time Jesus was tempted by the devil Jesus answered him with scripture. And the devil and his temptations could not win.
After that the devil left Jesus alone for a time but was always watching and waiting ready to try to lure Him into his trap. The teacher read 2 Timothy 2:22 aloud to the class. They learned that some people are, in a way, trapped serving the devil and the only way they can realize what they are doing and escape the devil’s trap is for someone to help them fight against the devil with scripture. Mary Rose looked at the web in the classroom and was reminded of how the moth was trapped in the spider’s web. The spider was there and waited for just the right time and SNAP! The spider had him. She thought it was strange how the devil is never described as a spider for he certainly “weaves a web” of temptations for us to be caught in. If someone steps into that “web” the devil has them right where he wants them! Not following God but following him!
The students were glad to find out how VERY strong Jesus was against the devil and his temptations and NEVER EVER gave in to them. James 1:13-16
They learned how the devil is STILL around today watching us, trying to temp each of us to do wrong things to obey him instead of God! “We must read and remember what God says in the Bible about doing what’s wrong and to realize what the devil is doing to us so we can turn away from the him. That is why we need to learn Bible verses so we can fight against the devil and his temptations.” The teacher passed out slips of paper attached with string. The words were opposites. The orange word was a temptation and the yellow was how God would want them to behave. That word had a scripture to fight against the temptation! The temptation was hung inside the web. The Godly behavior with the Bible verse was hanging down freed from the web. Everyone took turns reading the scriptures. The next week it would be hung from the ceiling.
Mary Rose told her parents what they had learned and she could not but help remember the jewel like web and how she wanted to touch it because of its beauty. Oh! Like being tempted! It gave her shivers to think about it. She wanted to get started learning Bible verses about how God wants her to behave so she could fight against the devil’s temptations.
To my Sister Bible class teachers,
“It is written…” Such powerful words with scripture attached to them. It is so important that we not only know how God wants us to behave but to actually commit verses to memory that will help us in our time of struggle. Verses that we can actually say aloud if need be! I pray the Word of Christ dwells richly within you.
Colossians 3:15-17; 1John 2:1, 14.
The visual being featured this month is the “web of temptaton”. I have given you a link below to obtain printed words, directions and scripture so you can make a web of temptations for your own use. I used crochet thread for the string and taped it on the back of each set of corresponding words to hold them together. I found my web at a yard sale. Keep your eyes open in stores during the month of October. I am sure it would not be too hard to find a web to use for this visual aid.
Serving in Christ,